As if the traffic on Sunset Boulevard wasn't bad enough, SkyBar sultan/supermodel-husband Rande Gerber plans to open a new bar a stone's throw west of his Mondrian Hotel hangout. The sure-to-be-hot spot, slated to open in March, remains nameless but will be the crown jewel of a renovated Park Sunset Hotel, which will be getting a new moniker: the Grafton.
The property was purchased in January by John Fitts, who also owns Le Parc and La Montrose hotels in L.A. His wife, former Playboy bunny Toni Peck, will decorate. She says one of several L.A.-themed suites will be inspired by her old boss, Hugh Hefner.
The Park Sunset does have a certain, um, reputation to uphold. (One unsuspecting guest notified management when he found a red bra tucked between his bedsheets.) "There will be things hidden in the beds, but not that," publicist Haley Sumner joked. (Chocolate bras at bedtime, perhaps?) Plans call for a Venetian garden in back (we can only hope this means canals and hunky gondoliers), and sidewalk seating in front.
Many a tear-stained face could be seen in the crowd at the Henry Fonda Theatre in Hollywood after a teenager with cancer spoke about her battle with the disease. Molly Hanna, 17, was diagnosed a year ago with neuroblastoma and was joined onstage by her good friend Ben Affleck, who had helicoptered in from a Palm Springs movie set. The occasion was the local premiere of "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" and a benefit that raised more than $750,000 for the Neil Bogart Memorial Fund, which supports cancer research at Los Angeles Childrens Hospital. The actor, who introduced Hanna, has been friends with her since she was a student in Affleck's mother's fifth-grade class in Cambridge, Mass. Fund founder Joyce Bogart Trabulus and hubby Beverly Hills physician Dr. Joshua Trabulus were honored. (She is the widow of music exec Neil Bogart, who died in 1984.) Also spotted: Tracey Ullman, Neil Simon, Paul Reiser, Steven Segal and Rebecca De Mornay. Hanna was followed by "Hedwig," a grinding rock 'n' roll show, which didn't please everyone (several audience members left midway through). Somehow, a drag queen whining about a botched sex change just did not fit the mood.
Tracy Griffith, half-sister of actress Melanie Griffith, is cutting her culinary chops as a sushi chef for Tsunami's, a surfing-themed eatery that opened last week in the former location of ObaChine in Beverly Hills.
Griffith, 34, a graduate of the California Sushi Academy in Venice, is one of only a few female sushi chefs in the U.S. Tsunami's is her first gig.
She is also an actress, most recently in Melanie's and Antonio Banderas' poorly received "Crazy in Alabama." Even though Tracy's part in the film is small, she insists there was no tension with her big sis: "Melanie is in a whole different echelon than I am. It's hard to be that successful. I'm not sure I would want it."
As for Tsunami's, the concept sounds risky at a time when most themed restaurants are hitting rough waters. But restaurateur Mark Fleischman is versed in the ups and downs of the business, having opened the Century Club in Century City, the Tatou supper clubs in New York and L.A. and now-defunct Studio 54 (in its second incarnation). The second floor of Tsunami's turns into a nightclub after 10 p.m.
Not Only That: Dysfunctional family correspondence? The U.S. Postal Service unveiled an "All in the Family" stamp in Beverly Hills last week. . . . Turtle Farms, makers of the vegetarian Thanksgiving alternative Tofurky, are sponsoring an oddball art contest: Draw a Tofurky in the wild. Check it out at http://www.tofurky.com.
Booth Moore can be reached at email@example.com.